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Annie Larivée

Ancient philosophy; Philosophy as therapy, existential psychology, and the intersection of philosophy and psychotherapy; Modern appropriations of ancient philosophies; Philosophy of love, friendship, and sex; Feminism

Degrees:B.A., M.A. (Université de Montréal), D.E.A., Ph.D. (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3799
Office:3A49 Paterson Hall

Office Hours:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:40 – 3:40, or email for appointment.

Courses for 2019-20:

  • PHIL 2005:  Greek Philosophy and the Western Tradition


I completed my first level of studies and my M.A. at the Université de Montréal, in the context of which I also spent some time at the University of Leipzig for a German study abroad program. After five years of study at the Sorbonne (Université de Paris I), I defended my doctoral thesis on Plato in 2003. In light of the work of Pierre Hadot, Michel Foucault and Martha Nussbaum on the therapeutic aim of ancient philosophy, my thesis consisted in demonstrating how a therapeutic reading creates the possibility for a new interpretation –which is both ethical and political– of the Platonic corpus in its entirety.  In 2004-2006, I was the beneficiary of a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship and worked as Replacement Professor at the University of Ottawa, and as lecturer at the Université de Montréal. I also spent a year in the Niagara region where I worked as an Assistant Professor at Brock University (2006-07). I have been teaching at Carleton University since 2007.

Research Interests

By what means can human beings orchestrate their own transformation? Can philosophy consist in an art of self-shaping and care for one’s self? If this is the case, what is unique about philosophy as a technique of self-transformation? Lying at the borders of psychology, medicine, ethics and politics, these are the main questions directing my research in ancient philosophy.  Although I specialize in the study of Greek philosophy, my aim is not only to explain ancient texts in the light of their specific historical context but also to stimulate contemporary thought by recalling certain ancient ideas, questions and reflections that can enrich our philosophical experience today.

In addition to this, I am deeply interested in Gender Studies –especially in the work of Judith Butler and Susan Bordo– and over the past several years I devoted special attention to the thought of Michel Foucault in both my teaching and research activities. These authors provide us with precious resources to bring to light the constructed and malleable nature of the self in relation to social norms, hence my interest in their work.

A research grant from the SSHRC (2007-2010) has allowed me to complete a research project which will soon result in the publication of a book on the question of the care of the self in both ancient and contemporary contexts, and I also intend to publish a revised version of my doctoral thesis on Plato within the next few years.

Recent Publications


Études sur la République de Platon I. La Justice, M. Dixsaut and A. Larivée (eds.), Paris, Vrin, 2005.

Qu’est-ce que le souci de soi?,  Paris, Vrin, ‘‘Chemins philosophiques’’, in preparation.

The Political Asclepios. Study on the Care of the Soul in Plato’s Dialogues, in preparation.

Papers (selection)

“Comment construire l’interdit? La sacralisation des normes sexuelles au livre VIII des Lois de Platon,” Selected Papers of Colloque de Tours. Interdits et genre. Constructions, représentations et pratiques du féminin et du masculin, held in May 2009.

“Choice of Life and Self-Transformation in the Myth of Er,” Platonic Myths: Status, Uses, and Functions, Eds. C. Collobert, P. Destrée and F. Gonzalez, Brill, series: MNEMOSUNE supplementa, 20 p. Forthcoming

“Foucault and his Use of the Ancients,” Foucault and Philosophy: Subjectivity, Truth and Self-Transformation, R. Dalvi, B. Lightbody (eds.), Lewiston, New York, Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, chap. 7, 117-136. In press

“Foucault et son usage du souci de soi antique,” Les Anciens dans la pensée politique contemporaine, M. Breaugh, Y.Couture (eds.), Mercure du Nord, 2010, 423-42. (revised version of the previous paper) 

“The Philebus, a protreptic?” Selected Papers from the VIIIth Symposium Platonicum, J. Dillon and L. Brisson (eds), Academia Verlag, St.Augustine, 2010, 163-171.

“Le Philèbe, un protreptique?” Phoenix, n. 65(1-2), Spring/summer 2011, 12 p. Forthcoming (revised and extended version of the previous paper)

“Avoir choisi sa vie. Le mythe d’Er comme expérience de pensée”, Revue de philosophie ancienne, n.1, Mars 2009, 87-108.

“L’âme pédagogue du corps. À propos d’une tension entre le Charmide et le Timée”, Études Platoniciennes IV, J.-F. Pradeau (ed.), Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2007, 323-41.

“Combattre le mal par le mal. Socrate et sa méthode de soin homéopathique dans le Gorgias”, Gorgias-Menon,  Selected Papers from the Seventh Symposium Platonicum, M. Erler & L. Brisson (eds), International Plato Studies vol. 25, Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2007, 317-324.

“Malaise dans la cité. Éros et tyrannie au livre IX de la République’’, in Études sur la République de Platon I. La Justice, M. Dixsaut and A. Larivée (eds.), Paris, Vrin, 2005, 169-19.

“Du vin pour le Collège de veille? Mise en lumière d’un lien occulté entre le Choeur de Dionysos et le nukterinos sullogos dans les Lois de Platon’’, Phronesis. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy, no  XLVIII/1, February 2003, 29-53.

“ L’incarnation législative du souci de l’âme dans les Lois: un héritage socratique’’, in Plato’s Laws: From Theory into Practice, Proceedings of the VIth Symposium Platonicum (Jérusalem), L. Brisson & S. Scolnicov (eds.), Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2003, 98-102.

“Le souci de soi dans Être et Temps. L’accentuation radicale d’une tradition antique?’’, Revue philosophique de Louvain, t. 100, no 4, Nov. 2002, 723-741 (in collaboration with A. Leduc).

“Un tournant dans l’histoire de la vérité? Le souci de soi antique’’, Critique, special issue ‘‘Leçons de Foucault’’, May 2002, no 660, 335-353.

“Saint Paul, Augustin et Aristote comme sources gréco-chrétiennes du Souci chez Heidegger. Élucidation d’un passage d’Être et Temps (paragraphe 42 note 1)’’, Philosophie, March 2001, 30-50 (in collaboration with A. Leduc).


2007-2010 SSHRC Standard Research Grant.
Title of the research: “Towards an Ethics of the Care of the Self: Contemporary Use of an Ancient Concept”
2007 Research Grant, The Humanities Research Institute, Brock University

Curriculum Vitae

Links of Interest